CCME Commemorates 30 Years of Advancing Quality Care

CARY, N.C.--This month marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME), one of the first organizations in the Carolinas to promote safer, more efficient patient care. Funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), CCME focuses on three aims to improve the delivery of care throughout North and South Carolina: better patient care, better population health, and lowering health care costs. Stimulating collaboration and innovation among large-scale networks of health care providers, community leaders, and Medicare beneficiaries, CCME champions patient-centered care, using the “voice of the patient” to guide their efforts.


“Improving the quality of health care is what has always driven CCME,” said CCME Board President John Mangum, MD. “This organization has been instrumental in all things related to health care quality improvement in the Carolinas.”

Indeed, as a community-based organization with a strong presence in the Southeast, CCME works in partnership with health care professionals in all settings of the health care system. CCME’s expert staff collaborates directly with high-performing providers and practitioners to help other providers revamp health care processes to improve the clinical effectiveness of care. CCME, the federally designated Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for North and South Carolina, is part of the largest program administered by CMS to improve health care quality at the community level.

Under the leadership of CCME’s new chief executive officer, Joy Hogan Rozman, MEd, RN, the company will continue to build on its reputation as a credible, reliable, and skillful organization committed to improving the clinical effectiveness of health care.

“Our highly trained, results-driven staff is committed to excellence and efficiency,” she said. “We are skilled at finding ways for providers to enhance health care quality to achieve better outcomes for patients.”

CCME’s current work as part of its tenth federal contract with CMS addresses the needs of our beneficiary populations by implementing quality improvement initiatives focused on:

    Reducing hospital readmissions
    Preventing health care-acquired infections
    Preventative health screenings and measures
    Person-centered care in nursing homes
    Preventing adverse drug events
    Providing technical assistance to providers

“Our success in these areas is dependent upon effective partnerships with health care providers, stakeholders, consumers, and beneficiaries,” Rozman said.

PRO to QIO

Founded by physicians as a nonprofit organization in North Carolina in 1983 and incorporated in South Carolina in 1988, CCME quickly positioned itself as a recognized leader for ensuring the effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and quality of services delivered to Medicare beneficiaries. In those days, however, CCME [then known as Medical Review of North Carolina, Inc.] served as the Peer Review Organization in the Carolinas—a Medicare program utilization oversight contractor for the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA, now CMS) that focused on retrospective review. In 1992, administrative changes at HCFA shifted the focus to developing a cooperative approach to quality improvement.

“We realized that the old approach of identifying and sanctioning physicians who performed poorly was not the most productive approach,” Dr. Mangum said. “Instead, we needed to improve processes within the delivery of care to reduce the complications of care and to improve short- and long-term outcomes.”

CCME worked collectively with the medical community, its stakeholders, and other QIOs to share information and resources, setting the stage to change the mindsets and actions of how providers deliver care to Medicare patients. Collaboration, education, and leadership became the cornerstones of CCME’s quality improvement efforts.

Call to Action

Rozman, who has had more than 25 years of leadership and management experience in health care and quality improvement both nationally and internationally, said this an exciting time for CCME and the QIO program. She reflects on the history of the PRO/QIO program under HCFA.

“I have experienced the trajectory of change and had the great pleasure of being associated with some of the finest and committed professionals within the QIO industry,” Rozman said. “These changes can be viewed as opportunities for a QIO to use its creativity to reinvent itself, work with new entities, and develop innovative ways to ensure it remains relevant and become a formidable player in the health care quality arena on the regional and national level.”

In today’s climate of health care reform, Rozman said it is more important than ever to stimulate a strong call to action to improve our health system. She is poised to lead CCME through the coming years, where CCME will continue to stand apart from other like organizations.

“We bring value to the medical community as a catalyst and convener,” Rozman said. “By engaging providers, our stakeholders, and consumers through relevant information, resources, and tools, and we are strengthening relationships at every point through the quality improvement process. It has been an incredible 30 years for CCME, and we look forward to many more years as the QIO for the Carolinas.”

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